West Stormont Woodland Group

West Stormont
Woodland Group

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC051682

Join us today to bring Taymount Wood and Five Mile Wood into community ownership

Community Monthly Update – January 2023

A heartfelt wish for a Happy New Year to all our WSWG members and supporters. Here’s hoping 2023 will be a happy and positive year for us all and the WSWG Project. To update anyone who missed our announcement in the run-up to Christmas, the WSWG CATS Application to bring Taymount and Five Mile Wood into community ownership was submitted to Forestry and Land Scotland in December 2022. An evaluation and negotiating process will now take place over the next few months, which we truly intend will bring a happy and positive outcome for us all.

Wellies to the rescue in Taymount Wood on New Year’s Day

What has WSWG been doing this month?

We have now closed the Community Consultation on the WSWG website, and again thank you very much to everyone who contributed to it. In its place we have created a webpage where you can find the full portfolio of documents which made up our CATS Application to Forestry and Land Scotland, including the Business Plan, with detailed financial plans to 10 years and in outline to 25 years.

Gorse and scrub clearance started well in Five Mile Wood in December but mechanical problems with the machinery put things behind schedule a bit. Work along the main track in Five Mile Wood has now been completed, which will hugely improve access and open up the verges for the wildflowers again. Work will start in Taymount Wood on 13 January which is great as it means it will be completed before the bird nesting season begins. Long tailed tits are amongst the earliest often starting their exquisitely intricate nestbuilding in February, even in our part of the country in milder years. (Data from a national study conducted by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) shows that a large range of species are now breeding up to 31 days earlier than they were in the 1960s.)

Where has the Taymount Wood core path gone? Almost hidden by upright gorse last year, snow-lodged gorse made it completely impassable on New Year’s Day.

The core path in Taymount Wood has also been impeded in places by windblown trees for quite a while. The photo below shows where two recently windblown trunks in close proximity have made it virtually impassable a bit east of the gorse blockage. Forestry and Land Scotland are currently organising to have all the windblown trees cut through, which will make it so much easier to walk the full length of the woods again. Fingers crossed too that they may be able to arrange some vegetation clearance on the unsurfaced path between the main track and the north entrance at Five Mile Wood.

The latest windblown trees blocking the core path in Taymount Wood

Hopefully we will have some good “after” photos for the February Community Monthly Update!

Our Barefoot Woodland Wanderer’s “Wood-wide Web” blog was featured in the Community Woodlands Association’s Winter 2022 e-newsletter, which also included an article by Alastair Fraser on Tayside Woodland Partnerships. If you’d like to find out more about the amazing things being done by community woodland groups across Scotland, visit www.communitywoods.org

Word of the Month

Newfie Camp: This was the nickname given by local people to the loggers’ station which operated at Taymount Wood in 1940-41, manned by Canadian loggers in the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit (NOFU). The official name of the station was Camp 53, Taymount, one of over 70 at UK level operated as part of the war effort. The old photo below shows loggers building a hut at the Taymount Camp. WSWG has sought to recall this part of Taymount Wood’s history by suggesting the community enterprise facilities in our proposed Taymount Hub be known as the Camp 53 Café, Shop, Exhibition Space and Meeting Room. What a wonderful local history project and standing exhibition the Newfie Camp could make for WSWG in future.

Canadian loggers building a hut at Camp 53, Taymount (Image: www.forestryjournal.co.uk)

What’s coming up next?

On 26 January, we will start the period of discussion and negotiation in the CATS process when two members of the CATS Panel, Judith Webb and Bill Slee, will be visiting the WSWG Project as a familiarisation process ahead of the formal CATS Panel meeting in February. We look forward to keeping you updated as that progresses.

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Previous Articles

Community Monthly Update – June 2024

Our main focus this month has been collaboration with all sorts of people and organisations in our ongoing programme of events in Taymount Wood and outreach activity for the WSWG Project. Each and every event has been a source of real joy at seeing so many people benefitting in so many ways from spending and sharing time in our lovely woodlands on a diverse range of activities. Whilst we cannot claim to have beaten the record set in 2019 for our oldest participant at a WSWG event (she was an amazing 96 years old!), at only 5 weeks old a little treasure beat the record of our youngest attendee to date by a whole 11 weeks! How cool is that? Read on to find out more about these wonderful, moving and uplifting events.

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Community Monthly Update – May 2024

We are really delighted this month to start with the announcement that the winner of the WSWG April Photography Competition in the Children’s category is Dougie from Highland Perthshire. His stunning and clever photograph was taken at the head of Loch Rannoch, looking west, on Saturday 20 April. Such a beautiful, calm scene in our precious Perthshire countryside, but just look at the perfect capture of the beautiful splash effect at its heart. A truly super photo.

Congratulations, Dougie. Thank you very much for taking part in this competition and your well-deserved prize will be making its way to you very soon.

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Community Monthly Update – April 2024

On Sunday 14 April, a lovely bunch of people turned out for a WSWG Guided Climate and Biodiversity Walk in Taymount Wood to celebrate the start of the new Perth & Kinross Climate Action Hub (PKCAH) for which funding has been secured from the Scottish Government.

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Community Monthly Update – March 2024

It is a disappointing thing to have to do, but a surprisingly rewarding thing to have done. We are talking about picking up someone else’s litter. We all know Taymount Wood car park occasionally suffers from fly tipping, but it is regular littering which is more of a chronic problem, clogging the ditches, being strewn around the verges, blown into the brambles and nettles, overgrown by rank grass, buried in the soil, or crushed by vehicles if not removed regularly.

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Community Monthly Update – February 2024

First up this month, a big thank you to the Community Payback Team from Westbank in Perth who very kindly made an impromptu stop when passing to remove the worst of some fly tipping they spotted in the Taymount Wood car park in January. A heap of black bin-bags full of spent growing medium and general rubbish had been dumped near the entrance gate a few days earlier. They were unable to clear it all up in one go but are going to come back to complete the task for us. Moreover, they have offered to keep a watching eye on the site in future and clear up what they can. That will be such a help.

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Community Monthly Update – January 2024

Unusually, we’re starting this Monthly Update with a “What’s Coming Up Next” item! This message is principally for people in the Stanley and District community but we’d love to suggest all villages in the West Stormont area follow suit with their own aim of becoming a Biodiversity Village.

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